Fake It Till You Make It

I’ve decided to start publishing my web development articles and tutorials exclusively on the Wanderoak blog, which you may know, is my company. Head on over there to read more articles you’ll enjoy, if you like this one.

I got my first contract bluffing my way through the entire phone call. I knew WordPress, but I had never created a theme. I knew some HTML, but I had no idea how to use JavaScript to create the fancy menu they wanted. They also wanted me to make a logo. I’d never made a logo in my life. I didn’t even have Photoshop on my Mac.

I was 15. I got the contract because my Dad told someone who told someone else that his daughter knew about websites. And I mean. I did. HTML static websites of the 90’s. I was just starting to get back into the web development world, this time as a teenager instead of a kid who was just obsessed with creating anime-themed websites for other anime-obsessed people I only knew through the Internet.

But sure, I told them, I’ll do it. I had figured everything else out. I’d figure this out too! I charged them $50, to me that seemed like a huge amount. Then realized I had to get them hosting. I had no idea what hosting even was. I told you. I was just starting out. So then I had to go back and tell them it was going to cost money to get a host and domain. I felt like an idiot. But I told them. They gave me more money, and my dad used his credit card to buy the hosting and domain for them.

I spent the next 3 weeks learning how the hell a WordPress theme works and hacking a theme together. I torrented an old version of Photoshop and whipped together the most horrible looking logo known to man. But at the time, I thought it was beautiful, and hey, my clients were impressed. (I was impressed they were impressed, haha)

It was the most challenging thing I had done. And knowing someone was paying me FIFTY WHOLE DOLLARS meant the pressure was on.  But hey, I had told them I’d do it. And I did. I learned as fast as I could, making a zillion mistakes, starting over repeatedly, breaking WordPress so many times with programming errors that if the website was a person, he’d have murdered me a long time ago.

so faked it. I had no clue what I was doing.

The people who hired me were so excited they threw a website launch party and put the website up on a huge projected screen. It was even in the newspaper. I had never been more embarrassed in my whole life; I actually refused to go to the launch party.

But 7 years later, I am a web developer. People pay me to do this stuff full-time. I have my own company. I have a dream fuelled by my ability to design and code. Yes. I faked it. And damn did I make it.

So. Thanks Dad, for bragging about me all the time. I wouldn’t be here without you. And to everyone else. Have a dream? Don’t feel legit? FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT BABY.

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